Naval electrical basic systems
Electrical systems in the shipbuilding industry have become increasingly complex over the years. From relatively simple systems considered auxiliary, these systems that require a very careful design, especially with their foray as propulsion equipment.
Electrical systems and equipment in the naval industry
By this article, from SYM Naval we intend to address in a general way some basic elements and concepts of naval electricity, including load balance, lighting and security systems, essential and emergency equipment and maintenance tasks for all these systems and equipment.
Electrical load balance
The electrical load balance is performed at the beginning of a project to determine the required number and corresponding specifications of generators. Ultimately, it is about creating a list that includes all the main and auxiliary electrical elements of the ship.
Once the list has been completed, it must be analyzed in order to estimate the future energy demand of the ship's electrical system under different operating conditions. The expected power demand is calculated by multiplying the power of each service by a demand factor that includes the combination of a load factor and a diversity factor. In other words, the demand factor is the ratio of the estimated power consumption of a service to its normal power consumption at full load.
Ship lighting systems are designed and installed for various purposes according to different requirements.
Some examples of lighting systems are work lighting where the type of work determines the level of lighting, navigation lighting and emergency lighting and low-level evacuation lighting for abandoning spaces in case of emergency inside the vessel.
The following list offers a first approximation to the different lighting levels depending on the area or zone within the same boat:
- Common areas. Cabins, bathrooms, dining room, recreation room and other typical cruise areas such as the commercial area, gym, restaurant and pool area.
- Navigation area. Command bridge with its respective navigation, steering, radio equipment, etc.
- Services. Offices, kitchen and food supply area, laundry service, etc.
- Operations. Engine room and boiler room, work areas, motor control room, workshop, load control rooms, emergency generator room, etc.
Command bridge electronic equipment
The command bridge is, without a doubt, one of the most relevant areas of any ship. From here, the captain or commanding officer governs the ship and communicates the orders to the rest of the crew at different points on the ship. In this area are the navigation controls, steering and other essential equipment that we mention below due to their impact on electricity demand:
- Navigation system. The ships have a gyroscopic compass that indicates the direction based on true north and a magnetic compass that indicates the direction by the Earth's magnetic field.
- Off course alarm. Paired with the gyro compass, the off course alarm is activated automatically when the vessel has deviated from the preset course.
- Radar. It offers images of the coast, islands and other boats or objects that the ship may encounter during its journey.
- Global Positioning System (GPS). It allows to automatically establish the position and speed of the ship, among other parameters.
- Autopilot. Device that compares the current heading through the gyroscopic compass with the indicated heading to correct any differences that may arise.
- Indicators. In different screens the data related to speed, distance traveled, rudder angle, turning speed, wind and sound are shown.
- Echo sounding. This type of sonar determines the vertical distance between the bottom of the seabed and a given part of a ship's hull.